Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sealing in Seattle

What a weekend.
It was an experience that I never thought I would have, but it happened. It was real.
The Tangaro family was an awesome family that I worked with in Steilacoom.
The parents were members, just really inactive, and four of their kids were not baptized.
By the grace of God we were somehow able to meet them, bring them to church, teach them, and see them all baptized last summer.
You probably remember the stories/pictures. If not, that's ok.
The parents were endowed about a month ago and this weekend they all went to the temple and were sealed to each other as a family.
I was incredibly blessed to be able to go.
A member from our ward in Sequim (shout out to Sister Oliver and Sister Peet) heard we were trying to get to the temple and volunteered to take us.
Kingston Ferry to Edmonds. Seattle to Bainbridge on the way back. GORGEOUS.
As we pulled up we could see some people outside taking pictures. I looked closer and realized,
We pulled around and I jumped out and ran and gave them all huge hugs. It was so good to see them.
Basically it was a really surreal experience. It's something you always hope will happen, but you're never completely sure until you're sitting in a room full of people you love seeing a small family all in white being sealed together for time and eternity. Few things really measure up to that.
And I may have teared up a little. Just a bit though.
I mostly just smiled.
The work is coming along here in Sequim.
We've spent a lot of time finding this week. Lots of tracting which, in these parts, mostly means walking and occasionally coming across a house. For the most part people are nice, and Baby Crosby is really funny so we keep ourselves entertained.
I have this dream of buying 25 acres of land out here and building a 20x20 house, growing hay, and keeping chickens, pigs, goats, and a donkey (they're very protective animals, keep the cougars away) and growing my own garden. Basically, be off the grid, if at all possible. I shared this with a recent convert and she handed me a book called "Tiny Homes" all about people who have downsized and live in, you guessed it, tiny homes. I was giddy.
I'm trying to think of some pearls of wisdom to share with you (coughcoughnataliecoughcough) since some people actually still read these letters.
The other day Crosby was talking about how she had a hard time when she first got here, but what really helped her stay was how much I loved my mission and being a missionary.
That made me so happy.
If there was one thing I would want her to understand, it's that. Your mission will change you for the eternal good if you love it and if you let it and if you learn from it.
That's all.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trunky reminds me of Harry Potter

Cause you know....they have trunks to carry their stuff around.
10 points for Gryffindor.....
This week was pretty interesting.
There's not a whole lot that happens in Sequim, Washington.
Everything about it is slow.
Happy but slow.
We took mint chocolate chip ice cream over to this part-member family's house.
Their son just got baptized last week.
The other son is on the fence.
His favorite ice cream, which he talks about all the time, is mint chocolate chip.
Bribery? Maybe.
Do it anyways? Yeah.
We had an analogy for it. I just can't remember right now.
Something along the lines of the tree of life, how it's delicious. BUT if you don't make the choice to go and partake you can't actually have that in your life.
I was motivated by a tip in my journal.
Make your lessons interesting. If you're bored teaching, they're definitely bored listening.
Also, studying and praying are very important.
Never underestimate the power of either one.
We gotta run.
Barracks are calling.
Yeaaaahhhh P day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What Dew you want to Dew?

Not Mountain Dew. That stuff tastes like cat pee.
Not that I actually know what cat pee tastes like.
I feel like I'm digging myself in hole with this one.
Sheri Dew.
The one and only.
We got to meet her this weekend. There was a giant women's conference for all the stakes on the peninsula (Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Silverdale, and Port Angeles) and she came and spoke.
A lot of good stuff.
For the second week in a row I heard what was essentially a really great sermon on revelation.
The Spirit is so important in our lives.
We often focus on our relationships with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Don't get me wrong, those are FANTASTIC things to focus on.
But we can't forget the third member of the Godhead, the one who has been granted to us as a gift, as our constant companion.
The Holy Ghost.
As the teacher of truth, the comforter, the testifier, and the sanctifier it is so important that we not forget to come to know this person as well.
I actually think it's pretty interesting that the one we communicate through is the one we know least about.
But the promise is made to us that we can receive and know all things--through personal revelation.
That means time and effort.
Whaaat. We have to work for something?
But it's worth it.
The sad part about being on a mission is seeing people who know something is good and will help them, but because they don't want to/think they can change, they don't do it.
The gospel is simple.
Live it and you will be blessed.
It's simple but it's not easy.
Jesus Christ makes it possible but He doesn't do it all for us.
We have to live part of it.
We had a fantastic baptism last night.
Little Joseph was baptized.
His non-member Grandma came, and so did his Dad.
Actually, his grandma reminded me a lot of Gramma and Grampa Chronister.
She is a baptist, but she said she wouldn't miss his baptism for the world because she knew how important this was for him.
It made me really appreciate them for always being there for significant things in our lives--regardless of denomination.
That is true Christlike love.
Thanks, Gramma and Grampa.
Love you all.
Have a great week.
Don't suck.

Monday, March 4, 2013

You're going to . . . No Transfer!

Happy Valley. In other words, I'm staying. So is Baby Crosby.
Ha. Everyone calls her that in my emails to me.
She doesn't know that yet. But she'll get a kick out of it.
I want to say something about fasting really quick.
I still don't understand it.
It's something that is beyond me exactly how it works, I just know that it does.
Sort of like the Atonement, only the Atonement I understand even less than fasting.
I have learned over the past few months though that fasting really works.
I didn't really like it for a while. I think it's because I never saw how powerful it can be. Now I've seen it.
Anytime you feel a prompting to fast, do it. I wasn't planning to this week, and I'm not trying to get all Pharisee up in here, but when I felt prompted to fast I did it and I don't regret it one bit. We feel closer to God and He is then able to bless us with more revelation and guidance.
We had stake conference this weekend. The stake president gave a great talk about one thing we can do to better receive revelation:
It's more than just turning away from our sins and bad habits.
It's turning towards God.
We had a mission-wide challenge this week to have 75% of our lessons with investigators with a member present.
We didn't quite make it, but it was a lot better than the past few weeks. Why? We tried to get memebers there.
We are taking laurels tracting with us.
Members are taking us out to go follow up with people.
We are visiting with members more.
And it pays off.
The more you see members, the more they want to help you.
We have been so blessed here. Chirstlike people abound and their desires to spread the gospel are incredible.
End of the week, we had 7 referrals. Not sure how it goes in other places around the world, but usually 2 or 3 is good here.
Seven. 7. Siete.
Including one that was a phone call at 8 in the morning letting us know that they had made an appointment for us that evening with someone.
The gospel is infectious, and as President Weaver said, the coolest thing you will ever hear.
Moral: share the gospel by sharing your friends. Nothing beats that.
This is a labor of love people, so you might as well labor for those you already love. Then you can work on the ones you only like.
We're out in Forks today. Yep. I finally made it here. And the sun is shining.
Gonna go see some Twihards. Have a great week.
Much love.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tracting Travails

(rec'd February 25th, 2013)

People in Sequim are funny.
Sometimes a little scary.
But mostly funny.
We got "threatened" with guns a few times this week.
Once by a guy who, I think, has his gun stuck up his bum.
People don't understand the way we tract.
We just pick a street and go.
They think we come specifically to them.
I guess the Spirit brings us to them.
The other guy was really old.
And really nice.
He had this gun leaned up against the wall.
He asked his wife where it came from.
She didn't know.
Someone gave it to him.
He picked it up and was pointing it at the ground.
His wife told him not to point it at us.
He aimed at the ground and, shaking it, said,
"I'm gonna make a Catholic outta you!"
He wasn't interested in being Mormon.
The most fascinating thing to Crosby on her mission?
There are these deer that are always hanging out by our house.
Every time she sees them she freaks out, squeels "BAMBI!!" and runs and grabs her camera.
Being the kind and loving mother that I am, I even stop the car for her so she can look.
Teaching was pretty slow this week.
No one was available.
That happens I guess.
I'm excited for this week though.
A young man in our ward gave his farewell talk yesterday.
He reports to the MTC on Wednesday.
I'm so excited for him.
Mostly because he has no idea what is actually coming.
I think if someone tried to tell me what my mission would be like I wouldn't believe them.
Either that or I wouldn't understand.
The Julian family (from Tacoma) had a huge miracle.
Anthony (the dad) baptized his two sons, Ryan and Conrad.
I wasn't able to go, but I heard it was a great event.
On an even better note, I heard this week that the Tangaro family is going to the temple to be sealed next month.
I didn't think that I would be able to see a family that I helped teach and baptize go to the temple.
God is sneaky and he worked it into the plan for me.
Things up here are easy going.
Can't complain much.
The ward loves us.
We love them.
No less than 5 people came and reminded us about when we are going to their house for dinner sometime in the next month.
The people here are unbelievably good.
They just want to be that way.
That is a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
I hope I can learn from them and be more like them.
Read the Book of Mormon.
It's true.
And good.
Much love.